Veil lifted on ‘pop’ bonds

Greece said yesterday that it will offer 2.5 billion euros worth of treasury bills and 4 billion euros in government bonds to retail investors in an effort to boost their incomes. Yields on the bonds are expected to be about 3.3-3.5 percent and a 10 percent tax on their interest will be scrapped if they are kept until maturity. Each individual will be allowed to buy only up to 10,000 euros worth of bonds. «In its effort to ensure better yields for the deposits of small investors, the government has taken a series of measures recently in cooperation with the banking system, so as to broaden the range of choices for investors,» National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said. On the same day, the European Commission questioned Greece’s ability to meet its budget and debt goals. The Commission approved of the country’s stability and growth program for 2002-2006 but called for curbs on spending and further reforms to the pension system.

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